I wrote this on the 23 January 2008 8:10:17 PM
Our Dearly Beloved Grandmother had passed away, it wasnt a shock, she was an old lady and it was her time to go
This year we are heading back to Kangaroo Island to scatter her ashes on the family farm
Nanna was good to us.
Some of my earliest and happiest memories were with Nanna. Pretty much every school term break was spent on the farm over on the island. Emma, Tom and I would travel over either unaccompanied or with Mum or Auntie Claire to spend time on the farm or even in a holiday shack at Emu Bay. Of course Nanna would spoil us at every oppourtunity. There were three meals a day of good farm grown food, and mountains of sweet treats: biscuits, slices, buns and lamingtons. It was through her food that she shared her love. There was never a shortage of either at her home on the farm.
I can remember numerous times that we would raid her chest freezer which has a poorly hidden key. Where we would try to patiently wait for the lamingtons to thaw after moments and then giving into temptation and eating the food frozen. Then we would head off for a day of adventure riding bikes and making cubby houses in the bush. Or helping out Uncle John with the jobs around the farm, counting the lambs in the September holiday, feeding the sheep in December, and the herding and drenching. Sometimes we would only return for meals. Nanna would call us back with her Thunderer whistle. We knew to come as quickly as we could or she would assume that we had been drowned in a dam. Similarly many fun and games in the surf were cut short for fear of sharks. She cared for us dearly and all we could do in return is raid her pantry, fridge, fruit bowl, freezer, Tupperware on top of the wardrobe.
Nanna took a lot of cheek from us kids. But I think she loved it. She had a great sense of humour and always was able to play a trick on us too. I can remember the time that Anna and I, visited her and wanted to learn her art of cooking boiled fruit cakes. I was a fan of sultana cakes and having bought the ingredients in Kingscote the day before. Nanna gave us a great lesson and only took over once or twice. Then we went ahead and cooked the cake and went through the rigorous process of cooling it covered with blankets. She was shrieking from the room it was cooling it “Oh its ruined!, It cracked! We will have to throw it out!” Of course it was a prank, who would think that a lady in her late eighties would have the sense of humour that old Vida had.
Nanna also had more grandchildren than most, Matthew, Emma, Tom, Sam, Nicholas, Rebecca, William, Mary-Anne and Hannah. The reason that I write all the names out, is that when she was calling out to get your attention, she would inevitably go through all of the names before getting to yours when she was wanting to get your attention, often including the ones of the other sex. We loved her for it. To be one of nanna’s darling grandchildren is a proud honour that only 9 people in the world got to experience. I don’t think grandparents come any better than Vida Symons. But I guess I am biased.
I think Vida will live on forever through fond memories of her and these will be passed on from parent to child. She was a good person with a heart of gold and I have yet to meet anybody that couldn’t be charmed by her. She will be missed.